To reach a First Amendment Center staffer, call
First Amendment Center fact
First Amendment Center
at Vanderbilt University
1207 18th Ave.
Nashville, TN 37212
First Amendment Center/Washington
555 Pennsylvania Ave.
The First Amendment Center works to preserve and protect First Amendment
freedoms through information and education. The center serves as a forum for the
study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of
the press and of religion, and the rights to assemble and to petition the
The First Amendment Center, with offices at Vanderbilt University in
Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C., is an operating program of the Freedom
Forum and is associated with the Newseum and the Diversity Institute. Its
affiliation with Vanderbilt University
is through the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies. Its offices on
the Vanderbilt campus are located in the John Seigenthaler Center.
The center’s programs provide
education and information to the public and groups including First Amendment
scholars and experts, educators, government policy makers, legal experts and
students. The center is nonpartisan and does not lobby or litigate.
The center’s Web site, www.firstamendmentcenter.org, is one of the most
authoritative sources of news, information and commentary in the nation on First
Amendment issues. It features daily updates on news about First
Amendment-related developments, as well as information and detailed reports
about U.S. Supreme Court cases involving the First Amendment, and commentary,
analysis and special reports involving free expression, press freedom and
Overby is Freedom Forum chairman and chief executive officer. Ken Paulson is
president and chief operating officer. Gene Policinski is vice president and
executive director of the First Amendment Center.
The First Amendment Center, founded by
John Seigenthaler, was created on
Dec. 15, 1991, the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights —
the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The center has had three executive directors: From 1992 to 1997, Paul K.
McMasters, later First Amendment ombudsman for the Freedom Forum and now
retired; from 1997 to 2004, Ken Paulson, now editor of USA Today and a
Freedom Forum trustee; and Policinski, appointed in 2004.
The center’s Vanderbilt campus offices opened in 1993 in a new building
funded by a $2 million grant from the Freedom Forum. The building, which also
houses VIPPS, incorporated the former residence of the president of Peabody
College, now a part of Vanderbilt University. Work was completed in November
2001 on an $8 million building expansion, which is home to offices and
classrooms of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute and administrative offices
of the Freedom Forum.
In remarks on Dec. 15, 1991, announcing the creation of the First Amendment
Center, Seigenthaler said it would be “a catalyst for study … of the values of
free expression and religious liberty protected by the First Amendment.”
See FAQs about the First Amendment
For more information: See First
Amendment Center programs.
Map to First Amendment Center, Nashville,
Executive staff & contacts
Vice president and executive
Founder: John Seigenthaler
Forum chairman and chief executive officer: Charles
Press contact: Office of the executive director,
Haynes, senior scholar
Villager, director/First Amendment studies
David L. Hudson Jr., First Amendment
The First Amendment Library
Ronald K.L. Collins, First Amendment
Buchanan, managing editor
(Note to First Amendment attorneys: The Newseum is looking for actual
items that were at the center of First Amendment legal cases, such as T-shirts,
protest posters, censored newspapers/magazines, records, etc. If you have an
artifact that you think might be suitable, please contact Carrie